In order to become highly proficient at an endeavor, you must become highly proficient at applying the fundamental principles of that endeavor. Coach Vince Lombardi demonstrated that time and again in the endeavor of American football. At the beginning of each new training season, Coach Lombardi would stand before a group of men who were, many times, just a couple of months before, declared the best in the world at the game of football. Coach would have a football in his hand, hold it up and announce to these elite level, professional football players, “Gentlemen, THIS is a football!” Then, the whole team would begin studying, yet again, the very basic, foundational principles of the game of football!

What was the result of this approach for Coach Lombardi after he began applying it? He would never lose in the play offs again. He won five championships in seven years – including three in a row. He NEVER coached a team with a losing record!

Let’s learn from Coach’s example and apply this same approach to becoming proficient at living by, operating in, and using our faith!

At this point in my live, after studying and living by faith for almost fifty years (beginning as a small child observing men of faith), I have noticed that the fundamentals of faith can be divided into two main categories for the purposes of study.

  1. Foundational principles. The things you must know about faith.
  2. Operational principles. The things you must know in order to apply or use your faith on purpose.

Now, any one of the principles in either category could be taught for a very long time! So, there’s no way we are going to be able to cover all of them in one short letter – but we can start!

We will begin by looking at the foundational principles or characteristics of faith.

Foundational Principles #1. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6)

Allow me to expand that statement based upon Greek definitions and other scriptures.

Faith becomes efficient, effective and mighty through the channel of walking in, speaking and acting in love.

The degree of effectiveness and strength of our faith is directly correlated to the degree of love that we speak and demonstrate. 

In other words, if you want your faith to be strong and effective at producing the BLESSING in your life, then you MUST become very good at understanding how much God loves you and then at extending that same love toward others!

Let’s look at some Scriptures that spell this out.

”Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.“
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 KJV

Notice that, even though the love of God had been placed in Paul and the people to whom he is writing (Romans 5:5), it still has to be walked in or it produces no results!

The way the Holy Spirit told Paul to say it to the people in the church at Colosse was that it had to be “put on.”

”Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.“
Colossians 3:12-14 KJV

I heard Brother Kenneth E. Hagin make a statement in a lesson he was teaching that I still see happening today. He said that we hear a lot about love but we actually seen very little of it. What does the Word have to say about that?

”Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).“
1 John 3:18 AMPC

”But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another. And indeed you already are [extending and displaying your love] to all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more,“
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 AMPC

“Extending and displaying your love.” That is such a great way of describing how we should live AND how our faith becomes stronger and more efficient! In these days in which we live, people desperately need to experience the love of God AND we need effective, strong faith! 

I want to remind you that you can find far more detailed teaching on these things on our television broadcasts, website, YouTube channel and podcasts than what I can write in a short letter so please take advantage of these things and immerse yourself in the fundamentals!